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Mountain West: Top Impact Transfers

These players should be ready to play major roles for their teams this season.

Wyoming v San Diego State Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Every year in college basketball, the same thing gets said in the offseason: there’s a transfer problem in college basketball. Players transfer from a variety of situations, whether it be from a power program in search of more playing time at a smaller school, or vice versa in hopes of showcasing their talents. Regardless of how you may feel about it, it’s not going away anytime soon.

College coaches that embrace it can use it to bolster their programs. The Mountain West will be home to some talented players who relocated to new schools. Here are some players that will have an impact on their teams next season.

Max Hoetzel - San Diego State

Standing at 6’8”, Hoetzel is the prototypical stretch four in today’s game. He struggled to find consistent playing time at Indiana, but you could see the flashes of talent in his game. He possesses a skill thats necessary for a player of his size, and that’s knockdown perimeter shooting.

Steve Fisher also told CBSSports that Hoetzel has been one of the program’s best offensive rebounders. If he’s able to make shots consistently, Hoetzel could be one of the best offensive options for an Aztec program that struggled on that end last season.

Montaque Gill-Caesar - San Diego State

Hoetzel isn’t the only transfer that will make an impact for the San Diego State. After missing out on the Big Dance last year, Gill-Caesar should have a part in getting them back to the NCAA Tournament. He spent his freshman season at Missouri, but he should thrive in Steve Fisher’s system after getting some time to learn it during his redshirt season.

Quite frankly, Gill-Caesar just fits the mold of the typical San Diego State player. He’s a good athlete, and thrives on doing the dirty work like defending multiple positions and rebounding well from the perimeter. On offense, he shouldn’t have a heavy burden, but should be able to get his fair share of buckets in the lane.

Marcus Marshall - Nevada

To put it simply, Marcus Marshall is going to get buckets next year. The senior guard average 19.5 points in 2014-15, and shot 45.6% from distance on over six attempts per game.

Nevada is going to have a talented team this season, and Marshall is going to have his fair share of open looks. When the offense stalls, the Wolfpack will likely look to Marshall to manufacture points. His ability to be a reliable weapon will go a long way towards Nevada’s hope of dethroning San Diego State atop the conference.

Jaron Hopkins - Fresno State

Coming into college at Colorado, Hopkins was touted as the next successful “big” point guard by learning from Spencer Dinwiddie. Fast forward three years, and Hopkins will take the court for Fresno State alongside another big point guard, William McDowell-White.

Hopkins will need to step up in order to replace the lost production from the graduation of four Fresno State guards. Hopkins is someone to keep an eye on to put up bigger numbers in a bigger role, but will have to be more efficient in order to do so.

Christian Jones - UNLV

Due to the departures of Stephen Zimmerman and Goodluck Okonoboh, UNLV’s frontcourt was looking bare. The arrival of Christian Jones should help fill that void a bit. Jones is a graduate transfer from St. John’s, and should be able to eat up minutes for Marvin Menzies’s first team.

Jones hit his stride towards the end of last year, averaging 13.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per 40 minutes in conference play (7.2/4.8 per game). UNLV will be in a rebuilding year, but Jones’s presence should be a bright spot for Menzies as he looks to get the program back on track.


If the Mountain West hopes to get back to being a multi-bid league, the play of transfers will be a key to that happening. Jordan Caroline (Nevada), Deshon Taylor (Fresno State), and Valentine Izundu (San Diego State) are also transfers to keep an eye on this year. If these newcomers make impacts that they’re capable of, we should hear multiple names from the conference on Selection Sunday.